Landmark ruling for freedom of conscience cases

Supreme Court says baker doesn't have to make cake for gay wedding

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who declined to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in 2012. The 7-2 decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission could be a landmark ruling for freedom of religion and conscience cases. The majority opinion was delivered by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg … [Read more...]

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Settlement protects religious freedom in senior community

Home Owners Association was taken on to protect religious meeting rights

A court case that tested the application of civil rights protections to Bible studies and a worship service in a senior community has been favorably resolved through a settlement. Pacific Justice Institute represented the leadership of four religious groups that had been suspended in late 2016 by their homeowners’ association (HOA). The suspension followed a complaint from one … [Read more...]

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“They have the Constitution on their side”

LA Times editorial: Target 'gay conversion therapy,' not religion

The following is an opinion piece by the LA Times editorial board: In 2012 California enacted a law that bars licensed mental health providers from engaging in therapy designed to change the sexual orientation of patients under the age of 18. Now the state Senate is considering a sequel of sorts. But this new legislation is broader in its application — so broad that some … [Read more...]

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California state senator introduces bill to force websites to use ‘fact-checkers’

Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, wants state to decide what is real or fake news, introduces “Online False Information Act,” which would require anyone who posts any news on the Internet to verify all information

Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) is the author of the “Online False Information Act,” a new bill that would require anyone who posts any news on the Internet to verify all information through “fact-checkers.” Sen. Pan does not name who these “fact checkers” are. The bill will “require any person who operates a social media, as defined, Internet Web site with a physical presence … [Read more...]

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Catholic employers win injunction against contraception mandate

Federal judge rules in favor of the Catholic Benefits Association, which represents more than 1,000 Catholic employers

A federal judge ruled in favor of the Catholic Benefits Association last week, issuing a permanent injunction and declaratory relief against the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraception mandate.This means that organizations belonging to the CBA do not have to provide coverage of drugs, the use of which they believe to be immoral, as dictated by the mandate. The … [Read more...]

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Another cake case — this one in California

Baker's refusal to make cake celebrating gay marriage headed to state's highest court

Cathy Miller, the owner of Tastries Bakery, filed an opposition brief last Friday in state court in response to the State of California’s legal fight to force her either to design wedding cakes promoting messages she disagrees with or to stop creating wedding cakes altogether. Last August, two women came into Cathy’s shop and requested that she design a wedding cake … [Read more...]

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Trump Administration to shield health care workers who don’t want to perform abortions

New HHS rule under review by the White House would protect doctors and nurses from being forced to provide services to which they have religious or moral objections

The Trump administration is poised to overhaul the HHS civil rights office as part of a broader plan to protect health workers who don't want to perform abortions, treat transgender patients seeking to transition or provide other services for which they have religious or moral objections. Under a proposed rule — which has been closely guarded at HHS and is now under review by … [Read more...]

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Baby Jesus comes to California State Capitol

Figurines from Stockton and Sacramento

  The following is from a Dec. 15  press release issued by the Thomas More Society. Baby Jesus will be present at the California State Capitol this Christmas season. Starting with an opening ceremony at 3 p.m. on December 17 and remaining through December 27, a traditional Christian crèche will be on display on the Capitol’s North Side Steps, facing L Street. The … [Read more...]

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Little Sisters of the Poor head back to court

Nuns seek to defend themselves against lawsuits by the states of California and Pennsylvania that would take away their religious exemption from the HHS contraception mandate

The Little Sisters of the Poor are heading back to court to defend themselves against lawsuits by the states of California and Pennsylvania to take away the Little Sisters’ religious exemption from the new Health and Human Services rule. In early October, HHS issued a new rule that protects religious non-profits like the Little Sisters of the Poor, Catholic nuns who dedicate … [Read more...]

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U.S. Supreme Court to hear California forced-speech case

Justices agree to decide whether law compelling crisis pregnancy centers to post notices referring patients for abortions violates First Amendment

The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear an anti-abortion group’s free-speech challenge to a California law that requires “crisis pregnancy centers” to notify patients that the state offers subsidies for contraception and abortion. The challengers say the disclosure law violates the 1st Amendment because it forces the faith-based pregnancy centers to send a message that … [Read more...]

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